The Simple and Smart SEO Show

Web Accessibility Insights and SEO Tips w/ Erin Perkins

July 05, 2023 Erin Perkins Season 2 Episode 59
The Simple and Smart SEO Show
Web Accessibility Insights and SEO Tips w/ Erin Perkins
Show Notes Transcript

Today's guest is Erin Perkins, founder of Mabely Q and Successible.

We discuss Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and web accessibility for deaf-blind individuals.

Connect with Erin:
Social Media Accessibility Scorecard
The Successible Community

WebAIM Accessibility: WCAG 2 Checklist
NVDA Screen Reader

1. Erin Perkins shared her experiences as a deaf-blind person navigating the online world.

  • Importance of accessibility beyond just websites.
  • Current technology (and Ai) helps her stay connected.

2. Erin interpreted SEO as writing content in a way it can be easily found on search engines.

  • Benefits of alt text and image descriptions.
  • Avoid strung together keywords that make no sense.

3. Erin discussed her difficulties with platforms like Pinterest and Instagram due to their limited accessibility features.

  • Platforms often don't consider accessibility during its initial stages.
  • Accessibility can be costly to fix.

4. How to use SEO elements for better accessibility:

  • Use header tags (H1, H2, H3) correctly for proper website structuring and better accessibility. 
  • Not doing so can make it difficult for screen reader users who skim headers for context.

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Brittany Herzberg: [00:00:00] Welcome back. We are here on the Simple and Smart SEO show. And today we have a super awesome guest. 

I've been wanting to talk about this stuff for a hot minute now. 

So we've got Erin Perkins on and we're going to be talking about SEO and accessibility. 

So say hi, Crystal and Erin. 

Erin Perkins: Hey! 

Crystal Waddell: Hi guys. 

Brittany Herzberg: I am so excited to have you here. So Erin and I met recently in a like a networking group of collaborating group.

And as soon as I saw her I was like I have to jump on this opportunity. 

To possibly be able to talk about this subject on the podcast. 

Before we get into that though. 

Erin, tell us a little bit about what you do in the online world and just in life. 

Erin Perkins: Yes. So I am Erin Perkins. 

I am the founder of Mabely Q and recently a platform called Successible. 

And I am DeafBlind. Most people don't realize it because I can speak. 

I still have central [00:01:00] vision, but that's only because I have tools that help me. 

So what I do is I really work with business owners online. 

To create and ensure that their businesses are accessible, not just their website.

A lot of people think accessibility, website, that's it. 

It actually goes so far beyond that now. Especially with how things change so quickly in the online world. 

Like we have to keep things in mind and realize that. 

This technology is what keeps people with disabilities connected to the rest of the world. 

Because it's a lot easier for them to do it on their computer rather than in person because there's a lot more optical in person.

Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, I have I definitely have some extra questions for you. 

But before we get into the list of questions, and just like all the things, what do you think of? Or like, how do you think of SEO? How do [00:02:00] you define it? I'm so curious. 

Erin Perkins: So, search engine optimization. 

For the longest time, I was like, Oh my God, that's just something tech.

I don't need to know. I felt like it was coding. 

And then when I got into business, it was like, Oh, this is just really making sure you write things the right way so that people can find you and search you on your search engine. 

Like Google.

Brittany Herzberg: Yeah. 

Crystal Waddell: Okay. So I have a question, there's different different ways that we can make our content more accessible, right?

Like using alt text and naming our pictures. And those are also SEO strategies as well, or. Tactics. 

So how does that impact you? 

Having alt text on pictures and, are there other like hidden elements online that help you? 

Erin Perkins: So for me, right now, those hidden elements are not necessarily impacting me personally.[00:03:00] 

But as I get older and I lose my vision, that's gonna happen. 

That's why I'm being proactive in a way. 

Because I know alt text, image description all these things that are put on. 

Behind the scenes for people to use screen reader really do help. 

So it's really important that when you're writing alt text, A language is properly formed.

It's not just, really 

Crystal Waddell: strung together. 

Erin Perkins: Yeah, just keywords and then you're like, what is this? 

Brittany Herzberg: I've talked about it before on the show. 

She and I joke that she's like my blind web designer friend. Robbie. 

She actually like did an audit of my site a couple of years ago. And I am by no means perfect.

My website is by no means up to like the standard that I would hope that it would be. So don't judge me too harshly people. 

But I listened as her screen reader was reading my website. And that was really, when it clicked for me about the images. 

I was like, I have so many, and I still do. 

I have so many images on there where it's [00:04:00] just like, I am G four, five, three, two.

And, like, that's not helpful. 

Erin Perkins: No, it's not helpful. It's one of those things where, like, if it's a decorative image and you're just using it, I can understand. 

If you're a photographer, you'll be like, I have to do alt text for every single one of those? 

Where you now rely on AI, artificial intelligence, that can help you write your SEO for you.

There's benefits to that. But I totally get. 

I know I'm far from perfect, too. 

Because I'm not coding my website. 

I'm using Squarespace. 

I'm keeping it simple. 

I'm doing what I can to make sure I have, like, alt text for everything. 

I try to write my SEO so that it makes sense. 

I'm learning how to do it for my email system.

It's like, all these things, it's a learning process. 

I... I understand. 

We're not all going to get it perfect the first time around. 

You might not even get it perfect the fourth time. 

Crystal Waddell: [00:05:00] Yeah.

Brittany Herzberg: That's so true. There was a question that I was thinking of. 

When you were talking about all of these different places that we can keep accessibility in mind, not just on our websites.

I remember very clearly being on a clubhouse conversation. 

So I mentioned to you that my background is as a massage therapist, and somehow. It was so cool. 

And I was so grateful for this opportunity. I didn't set up the room like this, but I was in a room hosting this room with other blind massage therapists. 

And they were like four or five and I was like, can I just ask you guys some questions?

They were like, yeah. So we ended up on the topic of Pinterest. 

And they were telling me, which I didn't know. I assumed that Pinterest might be one of the better platforms for someone who's visually impaired, but it turns out.... and I can see you shaking your head no. 

It turns out it's one of the worst.

So can you. 

Yeah, can you speak to some of the things? 

Erin Perkins: Yeah, because, like, Pinterest started out as just a visual search engine. 

So there was no... thought process that was put in place to [00:06:00] say, hey, we need to make sure that when you pin these images, you're also writing the correct alt text and stuff like that.

So it is definitely hugely flawed. 

I feel like they're definitely improving. 

But there's millions, billions of images that I think they're never going to catch up. 

So, Pinterest is definitely not all accessible platform for blind people.

Yeah, it's unfortunate. 

Brittany Herzberg: It made me so sad. Because it like I said at first it was just like surely that would be a place that they would make sure to have alt text. And be considerate and have like different accessibility points. And nope.

Erin Perkins: That's the problem with a lot of these startups. 

When they start up a business accessibility is the last thing they think about. 

It's one of those things that they think about like, When they're like years into the business. 

And then it ends up costing 30 times as much to fix that. 

And Pinterest is not a startup anymore.[00:07:00] 

Are they gonna fix that? I don't know. 

Crystal Waddell: Yeah, I was thinking about that as you're speaking about that on Pinterest because I'm taking this UX design course. 

And one of the things that they talk about is designing for accessibility. 

And I used to be a special needs PE teacher. So I was really excited about that.

It's like my standard was going to be way up here. 

But then as I started building the pieces, I was like, this is really difficult. 

To really think through that. 

But I can definitely see how it's better to go difficult in the beginning. 

Than to try and go back and optimize all of those elements. All of those pages, all of everything, especially on a site like Pinterest.


Erin Perkins: Yeah. I think a lot of people want to constantly reinvent the wheel. 

Because they feel like if they reinvent the wheel and they create something different, it's going to be really more creative. 

But it's actually the opposite. 

Being able to [00:08:00] create something based on what is already done, but make that even better. 

Is what's going to be more creative and more beneficial for all people. 

Yes, we need creativity in the world. 

But I think we're at this stage in life where no idea is original. 

Brittany Herzberg: Or even phrases or statements, to. Like, they're not, they're not original.

Erin Perkins: No, but nothing is original anymore. 

Crystal Waddell: Oh my gosh. 

That's my favorite book in the Bible. Ecclesiastes. There's nothing new under the sun. 

Brittany Herzberg: I didn't know that was in the Bible. That makes sense. But I didn't know that. Speaking just of social media platforms, is there a favorite one that you have like when you find that's like easiest to navigate given any kind of disability that someone may 


Erin Perkins: I use Instagram because I like the OG, original Instagram. 

Because it was about pictures, and that was it.

And that, to me, when I first started, I resisted Instagram for a long time as a personal [00:09:00] follower. 

And then I realized, oh, this is a platform where I can be part of this world. 

And not feel left out, because it literally was all pictures, and that was it. 

And then Instagram started changing, and I started feeling left out with the videos, the stories.

And it's like, what do I do now? 

It was very frustrating. 

So that began the educational journey of like, yo, caption your video. 

But Instagram didn't have those features at the time. 

So it was like, yay. Now it's like, wait, but the way they've set it up. 

I do not have auto caption turned on my personal Instagram because one, it's not always clear. 

Two, it is obscured by the actual caption that these words are the same. 

So like, I can't read it because it's obscured. 

[00:10:00] It's like layer over layer. 

And it's just so frustrating that I turn off auto caption. 

And if you don't personally caption your video, bye. 

Brittany Herzberg: Yeah. 

Erin Perkins: I'm skipping you.

Brittany Herzberg: Because it's hard. 

That was one of my pet peeves like when they first started coming out with Reels. 

And like making sure I did get captions it took a while. And that was like really frustrating for me. 

And I was even one of the people that was like, can we get captions? 

Has no one thought of this?

So when they got it, I was very glad. 

But then making sure it's at the right point in the video is challenging. 

But it's something that I try to make sure. 

And if it ever, there's one video that I think it didn't go to the right place. 

And it was because it didn't save properly. And it drives me up a wall and I'm like.

But at the same time, I'm like, okay, I just have to let that go. 

Like it was one video I tried my best. 

And then even, this is totally out of left field. But even with our podcast, we didn't always have a transcript. 

And it was honestly, because we've had this conversation before in a different episode. 

But we weren't [00:11:00] sure.

Is it better to put something out that's flawed? Or is it better to have nothing?

And, I don't know, figure out some other way to get information out there? 

But we've ended up going ahead and putting out the probably flawed transcript. 

Just because it seems like it's better than nothing. 

Erin Perkins: I would say with transcript, yes, flawed is better than nothing. Because then you'll get a reader.

But, if you can at least do a quick run through and read that transcript and make sure things do make sense. 

Because I know my voice doesn't always translate properly on transcripts. 

You guys might be able to understand me. 

But this is where AI is not so smart. No, it's not. 

Brittany Herzberg: There's like a, there's definitely a wall that it hits where it's like, we've got it all the way up until this point.

Crystal Waddell: Yeah, but you know what that tells me? 

That tells me that there's that much more opportunity for AI to improve. 

Or there's a space for [00:12:00] this type of AI. 

 And again, as a special needs PE teacher, I've thought a lot about AI and how it could be used in like special education and classrooms. 

To bridge the gap and just help kids where maybe they are lacking. 

Whether it's a skill area or disability.

Could it bridge for them in some way? 

Can't really get my mind around it right now. 

I think it's such a huge, potential field for someone. 

Erin Perkins: 100 percent. One hundred percent. 

Like, I don't feel like my English writing is my strong suit.

So I'll write stuff out, but then I'll ask AI, Hey, can you reword this or something? 

And then the way they write it sounds better. 

But sometimes it doesn't, I'm like, you just made it worse. 


But that's where common sense comes in. You're like looking at it. 

Does this sound appropriate or is it like bad or whatever?

But I will say, with Chat GPT: [00:13:00] it is only mining information from 2021 and before. 

The information they have about accessibility is actually quite lacking. 

Brittany Herzberg: Got it. 

Erin Perkins: They are behind in that. But Chat GPT 5 is supposed to come out, so hopefully that will be better. 

Brittany Herzberg: I didn't even know that. That's really cool.

I'm glad you pointed that out. Yeah. So if you're using chat GPT, make sure you're using the five when it comes out. 

Crystal Waddell: So have we talked about some of the biggest mistakes that you see business owners making? 

When it comes to their own websites? 

Your everyday business owner?

Brittany Herzberg: Us, we are talking about us .

Erin Perkins: One, I made this mistake when I first started. 

 I wanted, because I have a background in the graphic designer. 

I wanted to have control over how my images and text look. 

So I would do a lot of graphics with text overlay. 

And then put that on my website. 

Huge [00:14:00] no-no, right?

You can't do that. 

If you're going to do that, make sure you include alt text with that graphic image. 

Because the screen reader cannot read the graphic image. 

Especially if they're just text overlay. 

I think it's the biggest issue that people make with their website. 

In regards to being able to search that website. 

And then not using the headers properly.

Like you have H1, H2, H3. 

And for a screen reader to read that, it will skim the headers to get the context. 

And then they'll decide if they want to continue on reading your website. 

Brittany Herzberg: Yeah. 

Crystal Waddell: Ah, that's good to know. 

Brittany Herzberg: That's one thing that I remember Robbie telling me. And I was like, Oh! 

And I think that was around the same time I was learning about SEO.

So I was like, Oh, that's definitely a place I need to be putting some of the keywords. 

So I was really grateful that she called that out because it helps me put all the pieces together. 

I'm [00:15:00] curious, can I walk through like an example of What to do? 

Or what I do, and we'll see if it's a good practice for alt text?

Okay. So let's say I do a lot of stuff with like social proof. 

So in case studies, I might have a screenshot where it's just text and that's it. 

So my thought has been: okay, for the image title. 

Let me make sure that it has something to do with the keyword. 

Something to do with the main point of what they're sharing.

And then for the alt text I think what I've been doing is. Saying, this is a screenshot. 

And then pulling out like the most important quote or sentence. 

Or it's not all of the text. But it's the main thing that I would want someone to walk away from. 

It's like the one line that I want a sighted person to be going toward. 

And therefore, I would also want someone who's visually impaired to be able to get that point.

Does that seem like a good practice? 

Erin Perkins: So I think that is a good practice. 

But if you really want something involved, then add a caption below that screenshot. 

That [00:16:00] actually says what is written above it. 

Because I get alt text. 

You're only allowed 140 characters, 125 characters. 

And you're supposed to keep it short, and that's totally fine. 

But does that translate that full screenshot quite enough?

That's where you have to look at your perspective. 

Is using alt text translating the information from the screenshot. 

Is it enough? 

If it is not enough, then that's when you need to go move into writing out the full caption.

Or If you already have it in your case study note and you're writing. 

You're saying basically what that screenshot said and you're showing that screenshot. 

Then you don't have to do that.

So, it's like making sure that you're still tying in that screenshot. 

To the content that you've written, as well as the alt text. 

Brittany Herzberg: Got it. 

Because otherwise, I would imagine it would be really, really repetitive [00:17:00] for someone. 

Listening to JAWS.

That's going to be a screen reader. To hear them say it like four times in a row, right?

Erin Perkins: Yeah, that's why you have to like, think about it. 

I think a lot of people think, oh, I'm just repeating information. 

But no, you don't want to repeat information. 

If you're doing a social proof case study. 

And you have a screenshot of something. 

Try to weave that in to your content. 

Rather than just repeat it over and over again.

Brittany Herzberg: That's a good reminder. 

And thanks, I will definitely make sure that I add that into the caption. 

Versus just trying to pull out. 

Unless it makes sense like you said. 

I'll be really evaluating how to handle those situations. 

Erin Perkins: You could literally take a screenshot and then write in the caption what it said. 

And then you're not repeating anything at all.

Brittany Herzberg: You've blown my mind just with that one tip. 

Crystal Waddell: So, we might be overlapping a little bit. 

if we are, please excuse me.

But how can we make sure [00:18:00] that our content follows best practices for SEO and accessibility? 

So I know you mentioned the headers and that's how the screen readers read the content. 

That's really interesting. Is there anything else?

Erin Perkins: I think the best practice for a lot of people is actually to go through your content. 

By testing it out with a screen reader.

I can't do that because I can't understand a screen reader. 

Which is a disadvantage to me. 

Unless I had the captioning reading it out. 

But, I probably could test that out now that I think about it. 

But, yeah, I would say, really go through your website. 

And listen to how it's being read out loud by the screen reader. 

And then just start writing down what things you need to edit and make tweaks.

I know a lot of sales pages are a million pages long. 

Can we keep those shorter? 

Because, imagine [00:19:00] how the people using screen readers feel when they have to listen to you repeat the same thing 10 times. 

Brittany Herzberg: Right? 

Honestly, because like it for a sighted person. 

I know I just talked about this in the last week. 

I used to read every single line top to bottom on a sales page.

I no longer do that. 

Because my time feels more finite. 

So I go through and I look at the headlines. 

And when I'm writing a sales page, I really try to pay attention to those headlines. 

Thank you for saying that we need shorter sales pages. 

Because that's one thing that I've planted my flag in. 

I'm like, please stop making these a million pages long. 

Because no one's going to sit there and read it.

Unless they're forced to. 

And even then they don't really want to. 

I can't imagine myself wanting to carve out 20 minutes of my day and have a screen reader read that to me.

Erin Perkins: I will say, the people that use screen readers, they can adjust the speed and listen to things faster. 

Which is nice. 

Although the voices might sound different.

But I mean, they do have that advantage as well. 

I know [00:20:00] I watch videos on probably 1. 75 because I can read the captions really fast. 

So, I'm not necessarily having to listen to word for word. I can just read. 

So, there's that pro with adjusting the speed. 

For me, I created my sales page for Successable and I kept it super short, right? 

I don't feel like it was that long because I was like, I don't have time for that. 

Brittany Herzberg: No. 

Crystal Waddell: I was just thinking, there's an app called Speechify. 

I downloaded onto my computer and my phone and it's a PDF reader. 

And so I can listen to it read PDFs that I download.

 Like Susan Reoch. 

She had a freebie about UX. And so I listened to her freebie like that. 

It was really cool. The only thing I didn't like about it.

Every time it got to the start of the new page or the end of the page. 

It would read the footer. 

And it would read the header.

Erin Perkins: There is a way that that's [00:21:00] where the coder would have to put in place. 

Get a hidden link to skip that. 

Yeah, that is annoying. 

Brittany Herzberg: That's good to know. Is there a screen reader that you would recommend that we could use to read out the pages? 

Erin Perkins: A lot of people have been recommending the Chrome screen reader.

Brittany Herzberg: And it's just screen reader? Just search that under Chrome? 

Erin Perkins: Yeah, if you use it under Google Chrome. 

Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, I'm making a note. That's really good to know. 

Crystal Waddell: I want to talk a little bit about the legal ramifications. 

Of not, considering accessibility on your website.

Do you have any information on that or-

Erin Perkins: I actually have this pulled out that I was gonna put it in my community. 

So, in 2022, they're talking about how many digital accessibility lawsuits were filed in 2022. 

There's [00:22:00] about 80 to 100 lawsuits a week in 2022. 

However, most of the lawsuits were filed in New York, California, and Florida. 

With e commerce websites receiving most of the claims.

And this comes from 

There are definitely legal ramifications. 

They're saying that the most likely platform to receive lawsuits are usually retail, e commerce, restaurants, food service. 

And I can understand that. 

Because with restaurants, I'm trying to read the menu and they have a PDF. 

And I'm looking on the phone and I can't zoom in, and I'm like, how?

A person with a screen reader would not be able to read that or zoom in or stuff like that. 

So then I can see why these lawsuits do happen. 

But I'm also the type of person that will reach out to somebody and say. 

I noticed there's a problem. 

Can you address this? 

But [00:23:00] there are, unfortunately, are people that intentionally seek these out. 

To quickly do these lawsuits.

Crystal Waddell: Aside from the menu example, because that's a really great one. 

I do e commerce, so I'm curious. 

Did it mention, what the major issues were with e commerce sites? 

Erin Perkins: So with the e commerce sites, it's usually the description of the images are very lacking. 

I think that would apply to any one of us. 

Because, when I go shopping, especially as women, we want to know as much detail as possible about the pants and the shirt sizes. 

And how they would fit us.

Because, sizing across the board is not the same on any of these platforms. 

That's why they end up in these lawsuits because one, they're using overlay. Accessibility overlay. 

If you use accessibility overlays, I will come at you. I'm not kidding. 

Crystal Waddell: Can you tell us more? 

Erin Perkins: So accessibility overlays are [00:24:00] basically an overlay that companies sell to websites. 

To allow for the disability user to create better contrast, enlarging text and stuff like that.

But it's just a band aid fix. 

It's not really fixing the website. 

Crystal Waddell: You know, what this reminds me of is like in Shopify. 

You can get apps that like overwrite your SEO and they call themselves SEO apps. 

But if you delete the app, you delete the SEO, it was never actually done on your site.

So that sounds like a similar thing. 

Erin Perkins: Yeah. I hate those overlays. 

Brittany Herzberg: So what is that like from a user perspective? 

Erin Perkins: From a person with a disability, when they have assistive tools that they already use. 

And you're applying these overlays, it usually interferes with what we've designed and created for our own setup.

Think about it, you come into your own home. 

And you have all these things set [00:25:00] up exactly the way you want. 

And then somebody comes in and does a blanket effect. 

It's gonna create contradiction and conflict. 

And it's going to cause an issue. 

So that's why it's like, no, you need to fix it at the root of the problem.

Same thing with health, like you want to fix your health at the root of the problem. 

Brittany Herzberg: I'm laughing because, the podcast we recorded just before you was talking exactly about that. It's like fixing the root cause of this like health problem. 

So this is perfect. 

You tied it in and you didn't even know it. 

Erin Perkins: There's so many underlying issues and I think people miss that they need to deal with the root.

And once you deal with the root and make that healthy, you're going to be able to create a much better experience for people with disabilities. 

Crystal Waddell: So, as we think about, not only making sure that our websites are accessible because it's the right thing to do. 

But also, because we don't want to end up in one of those 80 to 100 lawsuits a [00:26:00] week.

Is there a resource somewhere that kind of gives you a checklist? 

Of what you need to have on your site?

Because I think a lot of it, as much of anything, is just a lack of knowledge. 

A lack of understanding of what's required. 

So many of us use website builders. 

And so there's a part of us is like, look, we're not coders. We're not theme developers. 

How do we know? 

What's been done or what needs to be done?

Is there anything out there that can help with that? 

Erin Perkins: So with websites, I have not created that resource yet. 

Because I don't feel like I have that expertise. 

But I'm working with several other people to create that resource. 

But I have a social media accessibility scorecard that basically allows you to go through your whole scorecard.

And check and see what you're doing to try to improve that. 

And I feel like a lot of those can still apply to your website as well. 

So there's that. 

But the other thing I am going to throw out there. 

Is one thing I created last month in this [00:27:00] platform called Successible.

So, it's success plus accessible combined. 

The idea behind this platform is to allow people who are committed to accessibility in their business and want to build it from the ground up. 

And even if you're like three, four, five years into your business. 

And you realize this is a key core value of mine.

Or it's just something that you end up committed to. 

I want people to join the platform. 

Because I have All these different videos and resources. 

And they get access to me where I can talk them through how to make changes and stuff like that.

Like, Brittany, you were saying, this is how I do my alt text. 

And then, I'm helping you adjust it a little bit. 

That way we can all create the gold standard together. 

Because I don't know how everyone's processes work because we've all created our own. 

But I also don't want to necessarily say this is one way and the [00:28:00] only way.

Because, that's just not how life goes. 

Brittany Herzberg: And even though you yourself have two different disabilities going on. 

There are other people and they probably have different ways of handling things. 

They have different tools. 

They have different things that they are able to do that.

Crystal Waddell: Different preferences. 

Brittany Herzberg: Yeah. It's such a big thing. 

But it gives me hope. And hopefully it's giving you listening hope as well. 

That there are some basic things that we can do just to be like, we're trying, we've got these things. 

And then if you really want to knock it out of the park, you can go check out successible with Erin.

Crystal Waddell: Yeah, I feel it's just like with SEO. 

It's almost like there's a technical accessibility foundation that you should have. 

Just like with technical SEO, you should make sure that you don't have broken links. 

And that, you have the different elements on the page that are supposed to be there.

In my mind, that's how I'm categorizing this. 

Technical accessibility. 

What's a minimum standard that we can meet. 

To just make sure that people have what they need to be able to utilize our site 

and [00:29:00] get the information they need. 

Erin Perkins: You're right. 

Because when you add in proper phrasing and you do the right SEO for your website, it makes it so much easier for people to find your website. And they can navigate through it.

And the experience just gets so much better. 

We've all been there where you're like, why can't I find anything? 

I would say one of the biggest culprits are blogs. 

I am a huge blog reader, but one thing I hate is when I can't find that search bar. 

It's like, where is this search bar? 

They hide it on their website.

And it's like, why do you do that? 

Because, I want to be able to search your website for more information. 

But they also have to be like really strong in the SEO. 

Because you need to make your entire website searchable. 

So, if you don't do that, I'm not going to go back and look through your archive and [00:30:00] stuff like that.

Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, it's just too much information to try to sift through. 

When it would be so much easier if someone could type in a phrase. 

Or a couple words or a question into a search bar. 

 That's really good. 

I'm like, I don't think my search bar is front and center. 

Crystal Waddell: Yeah. 

And I have a client that I work with that I, initially I said, Hey, where's the search bar? 

Where's the search function? 

Because even just a general practice.

If I want to find something, there's lots of different information on that website. 

How do I navigate to it? 

So this is just another example, this happens all the time in UX. 

Where it's like, if you look at things through an accessibility lens.

You often find a way that's going to improve the experience for everybody. 

Because, people are experiencing the same problem just in different ways. 

Erin Perkins: You know what I just thought about? 

Like, you know how you say a lot of the people building their own websites are not coders and stuff. 

And I think that's where, these big platforms: Wordpress,[00:31:00] Squarespace, Showit. 

Crystal Waddell: Shopify.

Erin Perkins: Shopify. They could all benefit from really putting accessibility at the forefront of their website. 

And say, Hey, if you're learning how to build your website, here are some like major tips. 

So they can hire me, by the way. 

Brittany Herzberg: I was just thinking, like whoever gets to Erin first. 

That's going to be a really smart website developer.

Erin Perkins: I'm fortunate because I talked to a platform yesterday and they only had two people that I felt like were advocating for accessibility. 

And this is a company that makes like, I don't know, 85 million a year. 

And it's still lacking. 

And you feel very disappointing to be the one to be like, Hey, I really like what you built. 

But there are a lot of things that you need to fix.

Yeah, yeah, you're talking to the two right people. 

And I'm saying you're the only two people? 

You need a [00:32:00] team of people to really advocate for this. 

And so, as a small business owner, also understand that I know you are doing your best. 

But start now, then you're not fixing it in the future or assigning it to your team to create it.

Make sure your whole team is aware of all the accessibility things that you have to do. 

And then it'll cost you so much less money, in the long run. 

Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, I do hope you make like a website checklist and charge for it. 

Like that's not a freebie that's definitely like a product. 

Erin Perkins: All right, thank you.

Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, definitely. 

Because I could see that being really helpful for those of us who are solopreneurs. 

Or maybe only have one person on our team or something. 

And even if it's two people, like that's great. And there's still a lot of stuff there. 

Crystal Waddell: So how can people find you if they want to connect with you?

Let's say that someone from WordPress or Shopify or Wix or all of those [00:33:00] guys, they're listening right now. 

How do they connect with you?

Erin Perkins: They can find me on Instagram at Mabely_Q underscore Q. 

So that's M A B E L Y _ Q. And also my website. 


And I also linked to my Successible platform.

They can also join that as well. 

Which I think is honestly a really great deal because I am teaching so much different things. 

I'm very focused. 

If you want to learn about making your email accessibility better, there's like all these things on email accessibility. 

And one thing at a time, so you're not like Learning 10 things in one video. 

Which I understand it's very overwhelming. 

But the platform needs a lot of work, too.

Brittany Herzberg: We'll get there. But you're starting! 

You're on your way. 

Erin Perkins: Yeah, I started! 

Brittany Herzberg: This is great. 

And we'll make sure that we have everything linked in the show notes, so that you guys can get to it [00:34:00] easily. 

This was absolutely incredible. I'm so grateful that you joined us for this. Thank you. 

Crystal Waddell: Thank you, Erin!

Erin Perkins: I feel like I learned something, too. 

Brittany Herzberg: That's the best podcast. 

That happens so often. We recently recorded with both of our dads for Father's Day episodes. 

Which are probably out now or hopefully out soon. 

And that was one thing that Crystal's dad was commenting on was, it sounds like your guests learn too.

And it's like, yeah. 

We're all here to learn together and just get better. 

Crystal Waddell: I love that. 

Erin Perkins: That's exactly what we're here for. 

I have a lot of understanding empathy because I'm a one woman show. I do everything myself. 

So, I have a lot of respect for business owners are literally doing their best.

And I don't want them to feel like horrible. 

Or be like, Oh my God, I made a mistake. 

Okay, live and learn. 

I learned from my mistakes as well. 

Brittany Herzberg: Yeah, exactly. Oh, this is so good. I just got chills. This is awesome. 

I can't thank you enough because I really wanted to be able to speak to this for a [00:35:00] long 


Erin Perkins: Awesome. We can always do a part two. 

Brittany Herzberg: Yes, always. 

Crystal Waddell: Yes, I usually listen to it a couple times when I'm editing. 

And then I listen to it after it comes out. 

And then I start thinking of more questions. 

And there's still a link in the show notes right?

If you're listening and you're kind of like, wow, I have some questions, too. 

And you want to submit them so that when we talk to Erin again. 

We can ask her, please do that!

Brittany Herzberg: It's galas. 

Crystal Waddell: So yeah, the galas link in the show notes, drop any questions that you might have.

And yeah, let's let's hash this stuff out together. I love that. 

Erin Perkins: Yeah, for sure. Awesome. Awesome. 

Brittany Herzberg: We will catch you next time. Thanks for joining us.